TENEBRIONIDAE Latreille, 1802

A highly variable family of Tenebrionoidea, as well in shape as in size (from slightly over 1 mm to 80 mm), frequently dark but sometimes beautifully coloured or metallic, rarely depigmented, normally alate or apterous, the eyes present, rarely anophthalmous, the eyes sometimes separated by episthomal canthus in lower and upper zone.

Antennae inserted under lateral expansions of frons, 11 segmented, rarely 10-segmented (some Archaeoglenini, Bolitophaginae, Hypophloeinae and some Opatrinae). Rarely 9.segmented in some Archaeoglenini. The antennae of several forms, filiform, massive, truncate apically, with three segments strongly dilated apically (Nyctteropini), rarely strongly pecticinate (some Strongyliini), the body glabrous or pubescent, covered with diverse types of hairs, setae and sensilla.

Mouth with clypeus and labrum exhibiting membrane or not; mandibles dentate, some times extraordinary strong (Calognathini), recalling Lucanids, bidentate or tridentate at apex (Phrenapatinae) and many times asymmetric, with lateral ridges or not; labrum subquadrate, elongate or transverse, more or less pubescent Lacinia with or without apical hook or tooth. Gula some times stridulatory (Platynotyni, Oncotini, some Stronguliini: Praeugenina).

Pronotum carinate, some times strongly explanate laterally, cordiform, subcylindrical or globose, procoxal cavities closed behind externally, with rare exceptions, open or closed internally, mesocoxal cavities with or without exposed trochantin, closed laterally by meso- amd metasternite or by mesoepimeron, or rarely by trochantin (Phrenapatinae).

Legs with penultimate tarsomere some times lobed (Allecullinae and Lagriinae), anterior trochanters overlapped laterally bt the femora (except Scaphidemini); tarsal claws some times pectinate (Allecullinae). Tarsal formula normally 5,5,4, some times 4,4,4 (some Bolitophaginae, Diaperinae, Pimeliinae, Phrenapatinae) or 3,3,3 (some Phrenapatini),

Elytra very variable in shape, globose, subcylindrical, more or less deplanate, glabre or more or less pubescent, many times fused, some times carinate, if striate with sutural striole, except in Phrenapatinae. Typically with 9 striae, but 10 in Pimeliinae, Lagriinae and some Bolitophaginae),

Abdomen with intersternal membrane of sternites exposed, except most Pimeliinae and some Lagriinae and Bolitophaginae; visible sternites 1-3 connate, 4-5 movable. Abdominal defensive glands present or absents. Aedeagus rotated ventrally, the ventral side visible dorsally (Pimeliinae), normally (the dorsal face exposed dorsally in the abdomen) in most underfamilies.


 Mature larva 5 to 70 mm, in length. Body typically elongate, and cylindrical to slightly flattened or occasionally, flat and broad, fusiform. Cuticule lightly to heavily sclerotized, occasionally head and 9th tergum more heavily sclerotized, bearing sparse to dense, short to long setae.

Head with frontoclypeal suture present, endocarina absent, antennae 3-segmented, or 1- (Leiochrini), 2- (Lagriinae) segmented, or with segments slightly to highly reduced apically; antennal sensosrium almost always flat, dome-like, typically C-shaped, forming an incomplete ring, around terminal segment (or fused remnant in species with 2-segmented antennae).

Labrum transverse with few to many setae, mandibles stout, subtriangular, with 1 to 3 apical teeth, and a sharp incisor edge, sometimes with dorsolateral, rarely with ventrolateral surface with membranous elevation bearing numerous setae (Pimeliinae), without prostheca, molar apex simple, not cleft, hypostomal rods absent; gula well developed.

Thorax with prothorax typically slightly larger than meso-or metathorax. Legs well developed, 5- segmented; prothoracic legs often much stouter, more sclerotized than other legs, specially in soil or sand dwelling species. Thoracic and abdominal spiracles annular or annular-multiforous.

Abdomen without ventral prolegs, 9th sternum unmodified, 9th abdominal tergum typically terminal, extending onto-ventral surface, its shape and setal and spicule patterns typically diagnostic at various levels, from simple, rounded to triangular; urogomphi, concave plates or other armature present to absent. The larvae of many Tenebrionids are referred to as "false wireworms". The differ from true wireworms (Elateridae) in having a less flattened head, articulate labrum, absence of lateral stemmata and presence of a mandibular mola and annular or annular-multiferous spiracles.

Loan calculator Loan simulator
Design: S. Taravati